Packaging: A Matter of Taste

by tom

I don’t like packaging. I think It’s commercialism made more distasteful with the prevalence of current environmental issues, that preys on the average consumer’s fetish for novelty. The cycle continues. What I do like is design that uses  less and achieves more, effective, wholesome branding, packaging that defers to the product and is innovative in its use of materials. So I’m going to provide examples of both.


I think these are great examples of branding. Simple and honest. The packaging is equivalent to and doesn’t subordinate the product. When we see companies constantly trying to outdo each other home brand aesthetics remain the same. They either have a sense of integrity when it comes to packaging or their market research tells them that there will always be Aussies scrounging around for a bargain.  I like the B and G better than the HB. The white and red says ambulance/hospital/industrial to me. Industrial food is not a stretch here though.

I think there’s something wrong if you buy something and end up with more package than product. Electronics are a big offender when it comes to packaging excess.

I know everybody loves the whole Apple thing, but they aren’t immune from global concerns. There is too much packaging here. One one hand I love the way this company brands and creates a perceived value in its product – and packaging is one way it does this – but I think this is a little over the top. I read there was something like 27 designers that had the recent iphone box/package patent attributed to them. Apple does report on their website that they are improving their processes and making a strong commitment to a cleaner future.

The recently proposed tobacco packet legislation poses some interesting issues – how necessary is packaging – what is the effect of removing brand labels? It seems to me that doing away with packaging would lend more emphasise to the product. I don’t know where to stand on this issue. I think companies should have the freedom to brand their product but I like the fact the government is making decisions that conflict with corporations.

For some reason I remember this tea packaging, the colour coding, the contrast of the tin and the natural character of tea. I guess the tin is quite recyclable. I really don’t know enough about modern materials and sustainability. T2 have since launched quite a few variants of their packaging. Really strong branding – that’s how I’ve remembered it.

Vodka bottles seem to receive a lot of attention these days. Generally I like most of the design because it revolves around a purity that depending on the brand enters sophistication. Purity is reflected in the design. I think the Absolut branding is so strong but I’m not a fan of the studded leather superfluity. I came across this samurai vodka and I thought it was a good take on idea of ‘cutting your vodka’.

When I go to people’s houses and they have a lot of DVD box sets I’m amazed at the way they feel they have to own certain products. Congratulations to the marketing department for this atrocity. I’d give it a year on your shelf max before this looks like some novel relic. That being said I’m sure this got peoples attention and shifted some units. Beware of companies that substitute package for product.


This was the first example that I’d seen that made use of bottle’s transparency which has since been copied a few times. Great idea.